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In celebration of Valextra’s 80th anniversary this year, the luxury leather brand is debuting The Monochrome Collection for fall/winter 2017—an exclusive all-white collection that carries a keen creative look alongside sleek shapes. With a look back at the brand’s 80 years of designs, Valextra is preparing for a bright future.
We saw an array of past designs, reworked to encompass the all-white look: The Tallone Coin Purse from 1948 and the Grip Spring Wallet from 1951, crafted with the house’s Lavorazione a Costa material; the Diplomatic briefcase from 1960, encompassing a steel structure; the Avietta 48H case and the 48Hr handbag from 1961, and the 48Hr version from 2006, available with wheels; the washable Costa luggage set from 1964; the two-sizes of Series in calfskin or alligator skin; the Tric Trac Wrist Case from 1968; the Punch series from 1970; the Premier Briefcase from 1973; the Travel Wallet from 2004; the V Line’s Folding and Polyhedral travel bags; the My Logo Line; the Soft Line’s new Big Shopping Bag with suede lining; and other travel cases and small leather accessories.
And this year, Valextra has commissioned New York-based creative architectural studio Snarkitecture (Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham) to create a pop-up shop for the brand in Milan on Via Manzoni, further tying in both brands’ all-white aesthetic. With continued involvement in the heart of design and architecture, Valextra brought in Snarkitecture to create a one-of-a-kind space for its customers, on view for a year.
“I wanted to propose things I saw coming from the city of Milan, so the idea of the stone of the city…and this white mesh, [references] building scaffolding,” said Mustonen on a recent visit to the flagship in Milan. “Valextra is a very structured product—it’s extremely clean and minimal for a bag. So I think the [they were] really interested in maintaining a softness of something that would be a counterpoint to the product.”
A must-see shop, the space is comprised of billowing, suspended mesh from a support system up top, with the room divided into three main sections. “The walls are built from this vertical structure that is like a scaffold and stretched over that is this mesh. As it goes to the ceiling it becomes an unexpected undulating strange unknown form,” said Mustonen. The store’s entirety is wrapped in layers of tactile fabric, blurring the boundaries between the walls and ceiling.
“We felt that a monochromatic space would provide a striking, but complementary, setting for the Valextra pieces…we were interested in the juxtaposition of hard, architectural surfaces with soft textures, as well as the play between precision (the grid-like scaffold) and looseness (the irregular scrim fabric),” said Snarkitecture.
Snarkitecture is currently thinking of ways to activate the space during Salone del Mobile in April.